Armed Services Chairman to Obama: 'Immediately' Lower Flags for 'Cruelly Murdered' Servicemen



With crickets from the White House on flying flags at half staff to honor the victims of last week’s attack in Chattanooga, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) today ordered the tribute at the Capitol.

And the House Armed Services Committee chairman called on Obama to lower flags now — as the president made a swing by the VFW convention on his way to New York events.

“Last week, five brave service members were murdered in a terror attack in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Out of respect for their courageous service and sacrifice to our nation, flags at the U.S. Capitol are being lowered to half-staff,” Boehner said.

“Later today, we will also mark a moment of silence on the House floor in their memory. We will continue to pray for their loved ones and also take action to protect our men and women in uniform who protect all Americans.”

The four Marines killed were Staff Sgt. David A. Wyatt of Burke, N.C.; Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan of Hampden, Mass.;  Lance Cpl. Skip Wells of Cobb Ga.; and Sgt. Carson Holmquist of Polk, Wis. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Smith died from his wounds Sunday.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest was asked at yesterday’s briefing why President Obama hasn’t ordered flags to be lowered to half-staff, as he did after the Newtown school massacre, the Fort Hood terrorist attack and the Boston bombings.

“You’ve heard the president talk about this issue once last week, where he offered his sincere condolences to the families of those who were killed in this attack. I would anticipate that you’ll hear the president discuss this a little bit more in his remarks at the VFW tomorrow,” Earnest said.


“I don’t have more information about the status of the flag over the White House,” he added.

Obama was delivering remarks this morning at the Veterans of Foreign Wars conference in Pittsburgh. It’s part of a trip that includes an appearance on The Daily Show and a DSCC fundraiser in New York.

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) called on the administration to act now to bring flags to half-staff.

“Last week, America lost five service members. They did not fall on a foreign battlefield, but were deliberately targeted and cruelly murdered here at home,” Thornberry said.

“Today, Speaker Boehner has ordered the flags at the Capitol to be flown at half staff. He follows the governors of Tennessee and other states who are doing the right thing to honor those casualties. The president should follow suit and order flags flown at half staff across the country, and he should do so immediately.”


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